We often hear the Christmas spirit should be present every day of the year. It is true. We should try to see Christ the other 364 days of the year. Christ came into the world and offers His presence to us every day. It is for us to see Him in the actions, words, and events of daily life.
I look at this issue of Samaritan World and see the recent medical mission served 1,300 poor people with medical and dental problems. That was a profound experience of Christmas for both those who served and for the 1,300 men, women, and children who were relieved of their physical burdens. Please read the stories about them in this issue.
That trip was sacrificial service. It was a time for Christmas for those volunteers. Christmas is a Catholic word that represents the sacrifice and celebration of the Mass. Our volunteers were in the spirit of Christmas and the Mass as they served the poorest people in Nicaragua.
I know the doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and others sacrificed the comforts of home, their personal and professional time, and the expense involved with international travel. I also know that they report feeling joy, peace, and generosity as they serve the least of God’s people. Our medical missionaries as well as the 400 students who travelled with us this year on service learning immersion experiences almost all say the same thing: “I received more than I gave.” And our travellers often say: “I saw the face of Christ in the poor.” That is Christmas.
Remember to sacrifice for others every day. You will receive more than you give.
In the Lord,
Father Don Vettese, S.J.